How to Use Gmail: A Simple Guide for Beginners

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Use Gmail: A Simple Guide for Beginners

Between 2012 and 2018, Gmail went from 350 million users to 1.5 billion users. The days of Hotmail and Yahoo accounts may be over as Gmail becomes the standard email platform for businesses, universities, and individuals around the globe!

If you’re new to email as a whole or Gmail, specifically, you may not know how to use Gmail.

Fortunately, it’s not as hard as it appears! To make it even easier, we’ve put together a guide covering all the basics for you.

Read on to learn more about how to use Gmail.

Why is Gmail So Popular?

You may be wondering why Gmail has taken the internet by storm in the last decade or so. 

When you have a Gmail account, you gain access to a number of extra features that are streamlined, convenient, and easy to use. In other words, you don’t have to make separate accounts for Google’s many online services. Your Gmail account functions as your login for all of them.

What features are we talking about?

Google Drive allows you to upload and store documents while Google Photos gives you a place to store both photos and videos. Google Calendar allows you to plan your day, month, and even year and share your calendar with other Gmail account holders. These features (and the many others Google provides) can be accessed from any device at any time. 

How to Set Up a Gmail Account

To create a Gmail account, navigate to gmail.com. Look for the red box in the upper right-hand corner that says “Create an Account.” When you click it, it will ask you to state whether the account is for you (“Myself”) or a business (“To manage my business”).

Fill out the information it asks for, including your name, username, and password. Your username will be the handle for your email address. In other words, if you choose the username abc123, your email address will be abc123@gmail.com.

If you want to add an extra layer of security, add your cellphone number or another email address that you use. Next, read the Terms & Agreements and select “I agree” to move forward. 

You will now be taken to your brand new Gmail inbox! Select the layout you prefer for viewing your messages. You can change this at any time.

Congratulations, you have successfully created a Gmail account! If you’re not happy with Gmail, here’s how to delete Gmail account

How to Use Gmail: The Basics

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Now that you have a Gmail account, let’s talk about how to use it. Today, we’ll stick with the most important functions, although there are certainly other things your Gmail account can do. 

Importing Your Contacts

When you first set up a new Gmail account, you will have one email in your inbox. It is a message from Google letting you know what features you’ve unlocked with your new email address.

Just below this message, you’ll see a block that includes several setup options. Here is where you can select a profile image, customize the appearance of your inbox, and, most importantly, import your contacts.

Select “Import contacts and mail” to bring up a pop-up screen. Here, you will enter your old (or other) email address. This will synch your other account with your new Gmail, saving you the hassle of entering all of your contacts manually.

Writing an Email

Writing an email is nice and simple. No matter where you are in your inbox, the “Compose” button will always be in the same place. Look to the left of your screen and you’ll surely notice the rainbow plus sign next to the word “Compose.”

When you click this button, a small window will pop up in your browser in the bottom right-hand corner. Enter your recipient’s email, type your message in the body of the email, and hit send.

If you wish to review an email you’ve sent, you will find your “Sent” folder in the scrolling panel on the left side of the browser. 

Moving an Email

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If you want to move an email to a different folder (such as “Social” or “Promotions”), click the box to the left of the email’s subject line. You will see a checkmark in the box after clicking it.

Now, look at the bar above your inbox. You will see a row of symbols including what looks like a stop sign, a trash can, and a file folder with an arrow in it. Click on the file with the arrow and you’ll get a drop-down menu. 

This drop-down menu will show you the different folders that you can move your selected email to. Select the folder of your choice and the email will move right away. Note that you can move multiple emails at a time by selecting them all before selecting the folder. 

Searching for an Email

Looking for an older email? You don’t have to click through page after page of your inbox to find it.

Locate the search bar at the top of the page. Type in the email address or keyword that will pull up the email you need. To get back to your full inbox, simply click the X next to your searched word or phrase.

You can narrow down your search by navigating to specific folders and searching there. For example, if you know you need an email you deleted, go to the “Trash” folder and repeat the above process.

Enjoy Your New Gmail Account

Now that you know how to use Gmail on a basic level, you’re free to explore the additional options available to you!

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